Luca di Montezemolo has revealed that Ayrton Senna wanted to join the Scuderia and that the two met for talks just days before the Brazilian's fatal accident at the San Marino Grand Prix.
Montezemolo's comments come ahead of the 20th anniversary of Senna's death this week on May 1, with the Ferrari president claiming that they were going to look at how they 'could overcome his contractual obligations at the time', although he didn't reveal precisely when the three-time F1 world champion wanted to switch teams.
“He wanted to come to Ferrari and I wanted him in the team,” Montezemolo told Ferrari's official website. “When he was in Italy for the San Marino Grand Prix, we met at my home in Bologna on Wednesday 27 April.
“He told me he really appreciated the stand we had taken against the excessive use of electronic aids for driving, which didn't allow a driver's skill to shine through.
"We spoke for a long time and he made it clear to me that he wanted to end his career at Ferrari, having come close to joining us a few years earlier. We agreed to meet again soon, so as to look at how we could overcome his contractual obligations at the time. We were both in agreement that Ferrari would be the ideal place for him to further his career, which to date had been brilliant, even unique.”
Montezemolo meanwhile also spoke of his admiration for the Brazilian: “Of Senna, I remember his kindness and his simple almost shy nature, which was in complete contrast to Senna the driver, a fighter always aiming for the best.”
“I always appreciated Ayrton's style of racing,” Montezemolo added. “As with all great champions, he had an incredible will to win and never tired of seeking perfection, trying to improve all the time.
“He was really extraordinary in qualifying, but also a great battler in the races, when he always fought tooth and nail”.